The Week That Was: 2020-03-21 (March 21, 2020)
Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org)
The Science and Environmental Policy Project
Quote of the Week: “There must be no barriers to freedom of inquiry… There is no place for dogma in science… And we know that as long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never be lost, and science can never regress.” – J. Robert Oppenheimer [H/t Paul Redfern]
By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)
Fiasco in the Making? Writing in Stat, epidemiologist John Ioannidis of Stanford University emphasizes the need for solid data to address the coronavirus disease, Covid-19. Ioannidis is co-director of Stanford’s Meta-Research Innovation Center, which is dedicated to improving the quality of scientific studies in biomedicine. He writes:
“At a time when everyone needs better information, from disease modelers and governments to people quarantined or just social distancing, we lack reliable evidence on how many people have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 or who continue to become infected. Better information is needed to guide decisions and actions of monumental significance and to monitor their impact.
Draconian countermeasures have been adopted in many countries. If the pandemic dissipates — either on its own or because of these measures — short-term extreme social distancing and lockdowns may be bearable. How long, though, should measures like these be continued if the pandemic churns across the globe unabated? How can policymakers tell if they are doing more good than harm?”
It may take a long time before vaccines or affordable treatments are properly tested. A lockdown of the economy for weeks or months can be economically devastating, and we do not have the information necessary to make prudent, well-reasoned decisions.
“The data collected so far on how many people are infected and how the epidemic is evolving are utterly unreliable. Given the limited testing to date, some deaths and probably the vast majority of infections due to SARS-CoV-2 are being missed. We don’t know if we are failing to capture infections by a factor of three or 300. Three months after the outbreak emerged, most countries, including the U.S., lack the ability to test a large number of people and no countries have reliable data on the prevalence of the virus in a representative random sample of the general population.
“This evidence fiasco creates tremendous uncertainty about the risk of dying from Covid-19. Reported case fatality rates, like the official 3.4% rate from the World Health Organization, cause horror — and are meaningless. Patients who have been tested for SARS-CoV-2 are disproportionately those with severe symptoms and bad outcomes. As most health systems have limited testing capacity, selection bias may even worsen in the near future.
“The one situation where an entire, closed population was tested was the Diamond Princess cruise ship and its quarantine passengers. The case fatality rate there was 1.0%, but this was a largely elderly population, in which the death rate from Covid-19 is much higher.
“Projecting the Diamond Princess mortality rate onto the age structure of the U.S. population, the death rate among people infected with Covid-19 would be 0.125%. But since this estimate is based on extremely thin data — there were just seven deaths among the 700 infected passengers and crew — the real death rate could stretch from five times lower (0.025%) to five times higher (0.625%). It is also possible that some of the passengers who were infected might die later, and that tourists may have different frequencies of chronic diseases — a risk factor for worse outcomes with SARS-CoV-2 infection — than the general population. Adding these extra sources of uncertainty, reasonable estimates for the case fatality ratio in the general U.S. population vary from 0.05% to 1%.
That huge range markedly affects how severe the pandemic is and what should be done. A population-wide case fatality rate of 0.05% is lower than seasonal influenza. If that is the true rate, locking down the world with potentially tremendous social and financial consequences may be totally irrational. It’s like an elephant being attacked by a house cat. Frustrated and trying to avoid the cat, the elephant accidentally jumps off a cliff and dies.
After a discussion of various types of tests and our lack of knowledge on what measures may be effective Dr. Ioannidis states:
“At a minimum, we need unbiased prevalence and incidence data for the evolving infectious load to guide decision-making.
“In the most pessimistic scenario, which I do not espouse, if the new coronavirus infects 60% of the global population and 1% of the infected people die, that will translate into more than 40 million deaths globally, matching the 1918 influenza pandemic.
“The vast majority of this hecatomb [great public sacrifice] would be people with limited life expectancies. That’s in contrast to 1918, when many young people died.
“One can only hope that, much like in 1918, life will continue. Conversely, with lockdowns of months, if not years, life largely stops, short-term and long-term consequences are entirely unknown, and billions, not just millions, of lives may be eventually at stake.
“If we decide to jump off the cliff, we need some data to inform us about the rationale of such an action and the chances of landing somewhere safe.” See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy and Health, Energy, and Climate.
Two Crises? The essay by Dr. Ioannidis highlights the need for reliable, unbiased, solid evidence to address a threat to human health and welfare from Covid-19. We have over forty years of comprehensive, reliable, unbiased evidence to address what the UN calls a “climate crisis.” That evidence shows that atmospheric warming, where the greenhouse effect occurs, is no threat to human health and welfare. When the EPA declared that carbon dioxide endangers human health and welfare, it ignored the finest data available. When the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) declared a “climate crisis”, it ignored the finest data available. When US government research centers run their climate models, they ignore the finest data available to predict dangerous warming from carbon dioxide, which is not occurring. It is very difficult to identify an appropriate term to describe these public entities that deliberately mislead the public.
Already, many advocates of dangerous carbon dioxide-caused warming are advocating that society’s mobilization for Covid-19 should be an example for mobilization for the “climate crisis.” It is not. The problem with Convid-19 is the absence of solid reliable evidence. The problem with the so-called “climate crisis” is government entities deliberately ignoring solid reliable evidence. See links under Questioning the Orthodoxy and Below the Bottom Line.
Talking Trash: In many sports involving personal contact, some participants try to disrupt their opponents by making personal insults that are not tolerated in polite society. In televised professional wrestling, talking trash has been raised to an entertaining art form, without foul language. Talking trash can often be considered a form of the logical fallacy argumentum ad hominem, argument to the man – an effort to discredit a concept or idea by discrediting the person who proposes it.
In a number of once-respected publications, trash-talking is used to discredit those who disagree with the UN’s version of carbon dioxide-caused global warming, usually without credible evidence supporting the claim. For example, there are published, but false, claims that Fred Singer or SEPP took money from oil companies (Texaco, Exxon), chemical companies (Monsanto), tobacco companies (Philip Morris), and others. In its fawning review of Merchants of Doubt, Science Magazine accepted such claims and refused to publish a rebuttal.
As the ongoing cross-lawsuits in different courts and jurisdictions by Michael Mann against Tim Ball and Mark Steyn illustrates, attempting to sue for damages is a costly, lengthy process fraught with booby traps. Further, the time spent in litigation takes away from time spent on more productive endeavors. Unfortunately, in the field of climate studies, talking trash seems to be increasing.
For another example, some journalists and others assert that William Happer is not a climate scientist, thus his views should be dismissed. However, Happer is an expert in atomic, molecular, and optical (AMO) physics. AMO physics includes classical, semi-classical and quantum treatments of emission, absorption, and scattering of electromagnetic radiation – the very basis of the greenhouse effect. See links under Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.
Greenhouse Effect – Venus and Mars: The atmosphere of Venus receives a lot of attention as an example of “runaway greenhouse.” The atmosphere of Venus is made up almost completely of carbon dioxide, with traces of nitrogen. The average temperature of Venus is estimated to be about 860 degrees Fahrenheit (460 degrees Celsius). With limited information, “runaway greenhouse” on Venus appears realistic.
What is often ignored is that the atmospheric pressure at the surface is about 92 earth’s atmospheres or about the same as the pressure 3,000 feet deep Earth’s oceans. Further, “temperatures are cooler in the upper atmosphere [of Venus], ranging from (minus 43 C) to (minus 173 C).” Thus, there is a lapse rate — the temperature drop per kilometer of elevation. The lapse rate for CO2 is about 20% larger than for air, but there are far more kilometers of atmosphere on Venus than on Earth. Further:
“Temperatures on Venus remain consistent over time. For one thing, the planet takes 243 Earth days to spin once on its axis (and it spins backwards, at that; on Venus, the sun rises in the west and sets in the east). The nights on Venus are as warm as the days.
“Venus also has a very small tilt of only 3.39 degrees with respect to the sun, compared to 23.4 degrees on Earth. On our planet, it is the tilt that provides us with the change in seasons; the hemisphere slanted closer to the sun feels the heat of spring and summer. The lack of tilt means that even if Venus got rid of its overheated atmosphere, it would still feel fairly consistent temperatures year-round.
“The lack of significant tilt causes only slight temperature variations from the equator to the poles, as well.” (fn. 1)
“…Mars’ atmosphere however is 95% carbon dioxide, 3% nitrogen, 1.6% argon, and it has traces of oxygen, carbon monoxide, water, methane, and other gases, (fn. 2)
Relative to Earth, the air on Mars is extremely thin. Standard sea-level air pressure on Earth is 1,013 millibars. On Mars the surface pressure varies through the year, but it averages 6 to 7 millibars. That’s less than one percent of sea level pressure here. To experience that pressure on Earth, you would need to go to an altitude of about 45 kilometers (28 miles). (fn. 2)
Mars’s atmosphere is about 100 times thinner than Earth’s. Without a “thermal blanket,” Mars can’t retain any heat energy. On average, the temperature on Mars is about minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 60 degrees Celsius). In winter, near the poles temperatures can get down to minus 195 degrees F (minus 125 degrees C). A summer day on Mars may get up to 70 degrees F (20 degrees C) near the equator, but at night the temperature can plummet to about minus 100 degrees F (minus 73 C). (fn. 3)
Mars rotates on its axis, completing one revolution every 24.6 hours, similar to earth with a rotation of 24 hours with respect to the sun. The axis of Mars is tilted at 25 degrees and 12 minutes relative to its orbital plane about the Sun. The axis of the Earth is tilted at 23 degrees and 27 minutes relative to its orbital plane about the Sun. Though not in distance, in many ways Mars is closer to Earth than Venus.
The above has two points. One, it is tricky to make comparisons of the atmospheres of Venus and Earth. The percentage concentration of CO2 is not the most important issue. Further, Venus and Earth have significantly different rotation periods and tilts. And two, the greenhouse effect of water vapor and carbon dioxide is very important on Earth. It keeps much of the land surface habitable and capable of growing crops which otherwise would freeze at night, as stated by greenhouse effect pioneer John Tyndall in last week’s Quote of the Week. See
What Energy? Writing in Real Clear Energy Michael Kelly discusses the major sets of problems arising from political demands to make vehicles and building heating carbon-free in the UK. The Professor Emeritus of Technology at the University of Cambridge, England, states the interlocking problems “demand a full and rigorous systems-engineering analysis, now totally absent in the public debate.”
For example, in discussing automobiles alone he states:
“Next time you stand for 90 seconds filling your petrol tank, you might think of the enormity of what is happening, in energy terms. Chemical energy is entering your tank at a rate of typically 17 million Joules/second, or 17 megawatts—equivalent to the energy given off by 17,000 one-bar electric heaters! This large number is the basis of many difficulties, much glossed over in the rush to all-electric cars.
“In making personal mobility all-electric, two important considerations must be weighed. The first is that electric motors convert electricity to motion three times more efficiently, in energy terms, than the internal-combustion engine does with gasoline. The second is that we do not recharge an electric battery in 90 seconds. Neither of these avoid the difficulties I now describe.”
He goes into the problems of batteries, how to charge them, and where to get the power to generate the necessary electricity without fossil fuels. Kelly concludes:
“Put simply: infrastructural engineering capability to provide for electric cars and electric heating by 2050 is a massive and probably unachievable ambition. To attempt to accelerate it, to 2030, is madness. The rest of the world can look at Britain and choose whether to laugh or weep. One thing it shouldn’t do is emulate us.”
Writing in Watts Up With That, Paul Driessen asks a similar question: “How exactly do they plan to replace fossil fuels?” Given that green politicians are becoming increasingly bold in making unrealistic, even ludicrous, demands, they are preparing a way for extremely expensive failure. Perhaps they believe that pixie dust will save the day. Realistic solutions do not exist. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.
Oil Market Turmoil: As China was closing industries in response to Covid-19, thus significantly reducing consumption of oil, Russia decided to break with OPEC and start producing oil without respecting the limits it agreed to uphold. The situation is totally different from the Oil Crisis of the 1970s or the drop in prices of 2014. Unlike 1970, there is no assumed shortage of oil, it is a matter of price. Unlike 2014, the price is not many times the cost to the major producers. The government budgets of OPEC countries, particularly Saudi Arabia, require one price with a particular volume, the budget of Russia another price with a particular volume.
The wild card is the US independent producers. The US is not a petrostate, with the US government getting a major portion of its revenues from oil. The independent producers can enter or leave the market with little government coercion. Speculation on what may happen is wild, including Saudi Arabia leaving OPEC, which it helped form. There is little benefit to discuss the speculation except to say that the situation may be bad for alternative fuels such as biofuels. See links under Energy Issues – Non-US, Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?, and Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other
Number of the Week: 365.2422 days. Years ago, students learned that Spring in the Northern Hemisphere comes on March 21, with the Spring Equinox, when the length of the day and night are nearly equal in all parts of the world. This week that event occurred on Thursday, March 19, at 11:50 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time. The problem is the actual length of the year and adjustments to the calendar to accommodate that length of 365.2422 days. Also, there is some disagreement as to the length of the year – perhaps 365.2424 days. Man may create beautiful concepts, but nature does not obey. See links under Other News that May Be of Interest.
NEWS YOU CAN USE:
Commentary: Is the Sun Rising?
Solar energy tracker powers down after 17 years
Press Release, NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, Mar 20, 2020 [H/t WUWT]
“The big surprise with TSI [Total solar irradiance] was that the amount of irradiance it measured was 4.6 watts per square meter less than what was expected,”
Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science
Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), 2013
Idso, Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), 2014
Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels
By Multiple Authors, Bezdek, Idso, Legates, and Singer eds., Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, April 2019
Download with no charge:
Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming
The NIPCC Report on the Scientific Consensus
By Craig D. Idso, Robert M. Carter, and S. Fred Singer, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), Nov 23, 2015
Download with no charge:
S. Fred Singer, Editor, NIPCC, 2008
Global Sea-Level Rise: An Evaluation of the Data
By Craig D. Idso, David Legates, and S. Fred Singer, Heartland Policy Brief, May 20, 2019
Challenging the Orthodoxy
How Much Human-Caused Global Warming Should We Expect with Business-As-Usual (BAU) Climate Policies? A Semi-Empirical Assessment
By R. Connolly, M. Connolly. Robert Carter, Willie Soon, Economic Development and Energy Policy, Mar 15, 2020
Why I’m Convinced That There is A “Greenhouse Effect”
By Chris Martz, His Blog, Feb 15, 2020
A fiasco in the making? As the coronavirus pandemic takes hold, we are making decisions without reliable data
By John Ioannidis, Stat, Mar 17, 2020
[SEPP Comment: Applies to the “climate crisis” as well! But we have reliable data which is being ignored.]
They want to ban coal, oil and gas. Exactly how will they replace them? Who wins? Who loses?
By Paul Driessen, WUWT, Mar 16, 2020
Climate change accused of being deadlier than Covid 19 – Fact check
By Joe Bastardi, ICECAP, Mar 17, 2020
Press Release: Heartland Institute Launches ClimateRealism.com
By Jim Lakely, Heartland, March 19, 2020
“This new website will debunk the alarmist climate propaganda that dominates the media’s coverage of the environment.”
Electric Motors Versus Internal Combustion Engines
By Michael Kelly, Real Clear Energy, Mar 18, 2020
Jeff Jacoby: I’m Skeptical About Climate Alarmism, But I Take Coronavirus Fears Seriously
By Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe, Via GWPF, Mar 17, 2020
Is this what a Green world would look like?
The coronavirus is going to devastate the economy, shrink global trade and reduce our carbon footprint
By Stephen Pollard, UnHerd, Mar 13, 2020 [Via GWPF]
Defending the Orthodoxy
Coronavirus should give us hope that we are able to tackle the climate crisis
By David Comerford, The Conversation, Mar 9, 2020
[SEPP Comment: The expert in behavioral sciences confuses the study of diseases with the study of physics – they both use computer models?]
Is Covid-19 the Silver Bullet for a Stable Climate?
We always knew that climate change was going to be painful…
By Brad Zarnett, CSR wire, Mar 13, 2020
[SEPP Comment: The Canadian sustainability strategist begins with a myth – a stable climate. Of course, this can be found in the myths produced by the UN IPCC.]
Wind and solar plants will soon be cheaper than coal in all big markets around world, analysis finds
Report raises fresh doubt about viability of Australia’s thermal coal export industry
By Adam Morton, The Guardian, Mar 11, 2020
Link to research: Coal developers risk $600 billion as renewables outcompete worldwide
New wind or solar already cheaper than 60% of operating coal plants
By Staff, Carbon Tracker, Mar 12, 2020
[SEPP Comment: If one assumes modern civilization can run on unreliable electricity.]
Four Lessons from a Century of Pandemics
By Staff, WCAI Public Radio, Via GWPF, Mar 15, 2020
“Scientists can fall into the trap of thinking that once we have a certain amount of knowledge, we really understand how things work, we don’t need to question it anymore. But the lesson of these epidemics is that, as much as we’ve learned and as much as we know, there were always these unknowns out there, or these partial understandings, and we only learned what we’re missing when the next epidemic comes along.”
‘Mobilising for War’: Why COVID-19 is Not a Dress Rehearsal for Dealing with Climate Change
By Mike Hulme, His Blog, Mar 19, 2020 [H/t GWPF]
“Many politicians and public figures are calling for the response to COVID-19 to be put on a war footing. Emergency declarations and executive powers are being appropriated by the state. Climate campaigners, too, have frequently called upon nations to mobilise as for war and to call down the emergency state. Be careful what is wished for. ‘Emergencies’ beget authoritarian governance. The response to COVID-19 should not be seen as a dress rehearsal for dealing with climate change.”
What a real crisis looks like
By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Mar 18, 2020
Uncertainty In Natural Climate Forcing Is 870 Times Larger Than CO2 Forcing – A CO2 Signal Is Thus Not Detectable
By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Mar 16, 2020
Environmentally Incorrect Tips For Dealing With The Coronavirus
By Francis Menton, Manhattan Contrarian, Mar 15, 2020
[SEPP Comment: Has CDC become ossified, stagnant, in its primary mission by mission creep?]
Fear of (everybody else) flying
By Duggan Flanakin, WUWT, Mar 18, 2020
[SEPP Comment: No air travel for commoners.]
UN should change course on climate
By David Wojick, CFACT, Mar 15, 2020
COP26 climate change talks may be delayed due to coronavirus, government warns
By David Child, Evening Standard, Mar 19, 2020
Change in US Administrations
The Value of U.S. Energy Innovation and Policies Supporting the Shale Revolution
By Staff, The Council of Economic Advisers, October 2019
“By lowering energy prices, we estimate that the shale revolution saves U.S. consumers $203 billion annually, or $2,500 for a family of four. Nearly 80 percent of the total savings stem from a substantially lower price for natural gas, of which more than half comes from lower electricity prices.”
The US Department of Energy Just Confirmed Our More Oil And Natural Gas Reality Again
By Jude Clemente, Real Clear Energy, March 16, 2020
Social Benefits of Carbon Dioxide
Earth Is Greening Due To Rising CO2…A Growing Greening Sink Offsets 17 Years Of Equivalent CO2 Emissions By 2100
By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Mar 19, 2020
Restore soil to absorb billions of tonnes of carbon: study
By Staff Writers, Paris (AFP), March 16, 2020
[SEPP Comment: As stated by Freeman Dyson, we cannot model the influence of CO2 emissions without understanding the quantities being absorbed by plants and going into the ground.]
Problems in the Orthodoxy
Climate Campaign Loses Momentum As World Fights Coronavirus
By Staff, Bloomberg, Via GWPF, Mar 17, 2020
Green Deal facing delays due to coronavirus, EU admits
By Frédéric Simon, EURACTIV.com, Mar 19, 2020
“’We have the possibility of making this crisis an opportunity for the climate – let us seize it,’” said Canfin, who hails from French President’s Emmanuel Macron’s Renew Europe political group in the European Parliament.”
Seeking a Common Ground
We are about to find out how robust civilisation is
The hardships ahead will be like nothing we have ever known
By Matt Ridley, The Spectator, Mar 21, 2020
[SEPP Comment: Overblown headlines, but useful commentary.]
By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Mar 19, 2020
How people investigate — or don’t — fake news on Twitter and Facebook
Press Release, University of Washington, Mar 18, 2020 [H/t WUWT]
Science, Policy, and Evidence
Neither Biden Nor Sanders Remotely Has The Basic Competence To Be President
By Francis Menton, Manhattan Contrarian, Mar 17, 2020
[SEPP Comment: Candidates oppose development of massive oil and gas resources in the US as a threat as insisted by the UN.]
DOJ ends practice of allowing polluters to pay for environmental projects
By Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill, Mar 16, 2020
[SEPP Comment: Maybe this will eliminate the ploy of making approvals contingent on payment to special interest groups – a form of extortion?]
Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science
Aphid Foraging Behavior on Barley Reduced Under Elevated CO2
Chen, Y., Martin, C., Mabola, J.C.F., Verheggen, F., Wang, Z., He, K. and Francis, F. 2019. Effects of host plants reared under elevated CO2 concentrations on the foraging behavior of different stages of corn leaf aphids Rhopalosiphum maidis. Insects 10: 182, doi: 10.3390/insects10060182. Mar 20, 2020
Pan Evaporation Trends in Central Mexico
Ruiz-Alvarez, O., Singh, V.P., Enciso-Medina, J., Munster, C., Kaiser, R., Ontiveros-Capurata, R.E., Diaz-Garcia, L.A. and Costa dos Santos, C.A. 2019. Spatio-temporal trends in monthly pan evaporation in Aguascalientes, Mexico. Theoretical and Applied Climatology 136: 775-789. Mar 18, 2020
[SEPP Comment: Experiment does not support a major assumption to dangerous global warming from CO2 emissions as stated in the Charney Report.]
The Combined Effects of CO2, Temperature and Weeds on Wheat Grain Yield
Kannojiya, S., Singh, S.D., Prasad, S., Kumar, S., Malav, L.C. and Kumar, V. 2019. Effect of elevated temperature and carbon dioxide on wheat (Triticum aestivum) productivity with and without weed interaction. Indian Journal of Agricultural Sciences 89: 751-756. Mar 16, 2020
“As shown in Figure 1 [of review], rising temperatures and the presence of weeds both had a negative impact on wheat grain yield. In contrast, elevated CO2 had a positive effect. In fact, in most cases it fully ameliorated the two stresses and enabled grain yields that were similar to or greater than that observed under ambient CO2, ambient temperature and no weeds present. Thus, in the future, wheat grain yields will likely be enhanced above that presently observed in places experiencing higher temperatures and the presence of weeds. And that is good news on the future of food security, especially for a country with a growing population such as India.”
Past warming trend constrains future warming in CMIP6 models
By Katarzyna B. Tokarska, et al., Science Advances, Mar 18, 2020
[SEPP Comment: Discussing the effects of a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide, while ignoring the atmospheric temperature trends where the greenhouse effect occurs, as usual.]
CURL: COVID-19 In The U.S.: Doomsday Numbers Just Don’t Add Up
By Joseph Curl, Daily Wire, Mar 18, 2020 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]
“‘I think we really need to be careful with those kinds of predictions, because that’s based on a model,’ Dr. Fauci said at a congressional hearing last week of the projection that 150 million will be infected in the U.S. ‘All models are as good as the assumptions that you put into the model … it’s unpredictable. So, testing now is not going to tell me how many cases you are going to have. What will tell you what you’re going to have will be how you respond to it with containment and mitigation,’ he said.”
Measurement Issues — Surface
1919 or 2019 on the Prairies
By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Mar 18, 2020
JMA Data: Canada Mean Temperatures Show No Signs Of Significant Warming In 25 Years!
Falling Canada mean February temperatures
By Kirye and Pierre Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Mar 18, 2020
Measurement Issues — Atmosphere
Nitrogen Dioxide Ramping Up Again Over China
By Charles Rotter, WUWT, Mar 19, 2020
Europe’s Warm Winter Due To Natural Factors, Says Norwegian Center for Climate Research CICERO
By Die kalte Sonne, Trans. P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Mar 17, 2020
North Atlantic Oscillation
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Mar 19, 2020
Snow cover, more or less
By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Mar 18, 2020
This Date In 1936
By Tony Heller, Real Climate Science, Mar 19, 2020
Nashville, TN Area Tornadoes: Just Weather, Not Climate Change
By Chris Martz, His Blog, Mar 17, 2020 [H/t WUWT]
What causes an ice age to end.
By Staff Writers, Melbourne, Australia (SPX), Mar 16, 2020
Link to paper: Persistent influence of obliquity on ice age terminations since the Middle Pleistocene transition
By Petra Bajo, et al., Science, Mar 13, 2020
“The team combined data from Italian stalagmites with information from ocean sediments drilled off the coast of Portugal.
“The ages suggest that the initiation of both terminations is more consistent with increases in Earth’s tilt angle. These increases produce warmer summers over the regions where the Northern Hemisphere ice sheets are situated, causing melting.”
Sugar brings a lot of carbon dioxide into the deeper sea
By Staff Writers, Bremen, Germany (SPX), Mar 19, 2020
Link to paper: Laminarin is a major molecule in the marine carbon cycle
By Stefan Becker, et al. PNAS, Mar 13, 2020
[SEPP Comment: Could this be a source of hydrocarbons?]
West Coast Dungeness crab stable or increasing even with intensive harvest
By Staff, Chinook Observer, Mar 13, 2020 [H/t Ken Schlichte]
[SEPP Comment: Explaining the imaginary “crab crisis” of shells dissolving from imaginary acidic waters.]
Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice
New research first to relate Antarctic sea ice melt to weather change in tropics
Diminishing sea ice translates to warmer ocean, more rain, and stronger trade winds
Press Release, University of California- San Diego, Mar 16, 2020
NASA data reveals Greenland lost 600B tons of ice last summer
By Rebecca Klar, The Hill, Mar 18, 2020
Link to paper: Continuity of ice sheet mass loss in Greenland and Antarctica from the GRACE and GRACE Follow‐Onmissions [sic]
By Isabella Velicogna, et al, Geophysical Research Letters, Mar 18, 2020
[SEPP Comment: How much did Greenland gain in the winter?]
Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine
Impact of a second Dust Bowl would be felt worldwide
Catastrophic shock to US agriculture would deplete reserves, including those of other countries
Press Release, Frontiers, Mar 20, 2020 [H/t WUWT]
Link to article: Simulating the Cascading Effects of an Extreme Agricultural Production Shock: Global Implications of a Contemporary US Dust Bowl Event
By Alison Heslin, et al. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, Mar 20, 2020
[SEPP Comment: Following the theme of many who write about global warming impacts on food production; the authors ignore the characteristics of greenhouse-gas caused warming, modern food production, and benefits of increasing CO2.]
See: IPCC AR5 WG2 on Yield Sensitivity: Statistical Malpractice
By Stephen McIntyre, Climate Audit, Mar 2, 2020
Un-Science or Non-Science?
How horses can save the permafrost
New mitigation strategy bears great potential
Press Release, University of Hamburg, Mar 17, 2020 [H/t WUWT]
Link to paper: Protection of Permafrost Soils from Thawing by Increasing Herbivore Density
By Christian Beer, et al., Nature, Scientific Reports, Mar 17, 2020
[SEPP Comment: As usual, uses the most unlikely UN assumptions to create highly speculative projections / predictions!]
Increasingly mobile sea ice risks polluting Arctic neighbors
Press Release, University of Colorado at Boulder, Mar 18, 2020 [H/t WUWT]
Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate, or be Vague?
IHV Researchers Use Climate to Predict Spread of COVID-19
Press Release by Deborah Katz, University of Maryland, Baltimore, March 13, 2020
[SEPP Comment: Confusing climate with weather?]
Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.
John Kerry and His Climate Clown-Science
By David Kreutzer, Institute for Energy Research, Mar 13, 2020
“Here is his description of carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas:
“’Try and picture a very thin layer of gases – a quarter-inch, half an inch, somewhere in that vicinity – that’s how thick it is. It’s in our atmosphere. It’s way up there at the edge of the atmosphere.’”
Polar Ice Loss Accelerating- FACTCHECK
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Mar 16, 2020
IEEE: “It’s Too Late to Undo Climate Change”
By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Mar 21, 2020
[SEPP Comment: Especially after the last ice age!]
Communicating Better to the Public – Use Propaganda
The ‘climate doomers’ preparing for society to fall apart
By Jack Hunter, BBC News, Mar 16, 2020
Communicating Better to the Public – Protest
The last refuge of an alarmist
By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Mar 18, 2020
“When Samuel Johnson declared patriotism to be ‘the last refuge of a scoundrel’ one feels from the uneasy perspective of the post-20th century world that he had not seen anything yet. Johnson was not of course against all patriotism, only against what he considered a politically insincere simulacrum [image] of it.”
Expanding the Orthodoxy
UNESCO to the rescue
By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Mar 18, 2020
“UNESCO, which is an organization that does stuff like ‘Building peace in the minds of men and women’ according to its website, offered up a somewhat warlike plan last year that has recently come to our attention: Climate criminals must be brought to justice.”
[SEPP Comment: Has The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization lost its sense of purpose?]
Questioning European Green
Czech PM urges EU to ditch Green Deal amid virus
By Staff, EURACTIV.com, Mar 17, 2020
Questioning Green Elsewhere
By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Mar 18, 2020
Can Money Printing Pay For Green New Deal?
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Mar 20, 2020
“Economic growth comes from increasing productivity. New technologies, materials, production methods and so on gradually replace older ones because they are better in one way or other. If low carbon solutions really are better, they too will come to the forefront.
“But until then, they should remain on the drawing board”
Banks Invest in Coal, Gas Projects Despite Pushback
By Darrell Proctor, Power Mag, Mar 17, 2020
Link to report: Banking on Climate Change: Fossil Fuel Finance Report: 2020
By Staff: Rainforest Action Network, Banktrack, Indigenous Environmental Network, Oilchange International, Reclaim Finance, and Sierra Club, March 18, 2020
The Political Games Continue
Obama’s Trumpian Oil Moment Eight Years Ago
By Robert Bradley Jr. Master Resource, Mar 20, 2020
‘No New Fracking’: Biden Calls For High Speed Rail To Move US Away From Oil Drilling
By Chris White, Daily Caller, Mar 15, 2020
Why Can’t Liberals Do Arithmetic
By John Hinderaker, Power Line, Mar 16, 2020
Subsidies and Mandates Forever
Energy bill hikes to pay for £69m Scots wind farm compensation
By Martin Williams, The Herald, Scotland, Mar 14, 2020
[SEPP Comment: Imagine the outcry if the grid operators started paying reliable coal and gas generators when wind produced too much electricity!]
EPA and other Regulators on the March
Adviser behind controversial EPA policies returns as agency chief of staff
By Rachel Frazin, The Hill, Mar 6, 2020
Why Russia just torpedoed global oil prices
By Ryan Chilcote. PBS, Mar 10, 2020
The UK’s March 2020 Budget: Red Diesel and the Dawn of Carbon Taxation
By John Constable, GWPF, Mar 15, 2020
By A Correspondent, GWPF, Mar 12, 2020
[SEPP Comment: Problems with estimates of costs including heat pumps. Based on previous articles, the UK has only a few contractors who understand heat pumps and their limits.]
T4 Capacity Auction For 2023/24
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Mar 18, 2020
[SEPP Comment: The OCGT is open cycle gas turbine, In the Capacity Auction it has an advantage in capacity cost, but it is far less efficient than CCGT (combined cycle gas turbine.]
Energy Issues — US
Annual Energy Outlook 2020
By Staff, EIA, Jan 29, 2020
EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2020 projects consumption growing more slowly than production
By Terry Yen, et al., EIA, Jan 29, 2020
US panel approves pipeline, natural gas terminal in Oregon
By Andrew Selsky, AP, Mar 19, 2020 [H/t Ken Schlichte]
Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?
Oil prices could fall below zero: Analyst
Crude surplus could overwhelm global storage
By Jonathan Garber, Fox Business, Mar 18, 2020
[SEPP Comment: Confusing market value with price. In Texas, the market value of natural gas hit negative, because excess natural gas was being produced in conjunction with producing oil. The same does not apply for oil producers. Unless under contract, they can stop producing if the price is too low.]
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind
The Great Wind Delusion
By Rafe Champion, Quadrant, Mar 10, 2020
“One of the most common delusions propagated under the umbrella of the climate caper, as Garth Paltridge calls it, is the idea that sun and the wind can replace coal to generate sufficient electricity at the right times. The brutal reality is that the intermittent providers will experience “choke points” when the sun isn’t shining and the wind scarcely blowing. Obviously, the sun is off duty every night, and the records available on the Australian Energy Marketing Operator website show that the wind across SE Australia dies several times a month.”
Solar Drives Down Price for ISO-NE Power
By Darrell Proctor, Power Mag, Mar 17, 2020
Link to report on PJM: Over-Procurement of Generating Capacity in PJM: Causes and Consequences
By James Wilson, for Sierra Club and Natural Resources Defense Council, Feb 2020
[SEPP Comment: The grid operator has major safety margin to avoid running dangerously close to grid failure. The study ignores the safety margin in calculating so-called over-procurement.]
Oil Crash Could Destroy Global Biofuels Market
By Haley Zaremba, Oil Price.com, Mar 19, 2020 [H/t Dennis Ambler]
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles
Back To Reality: Electric Mobility Gets Dose Of Shock Therapy …German, Swiss Post To End Electric Fleet
The “Streetscooter”: Electric Mobility’s First Large Bankruptcy
By AR Göhring, European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE) (Text translated and summarized by P. Gosselin), No Tricks Zone, Mar 14, 2020
LA Times: California is Not Doing Enough about Climate Change
By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Mar 18, 2020
Health, Energy, and Climate
How You Can Help Stop Coronavirus
By Chuck Dinerstein, MD, MBA, ACSH, March 14, 2020
Some COVID-19 vs. Malaria Numbers: Countries with Malaria have Virtually no Coronavirus Cases Reported
…and countries with many COVID-19 cases have little to no malaria.
By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Mar 18, 2020
An Optimistic Take on COVID-19
By John Hinderaker, Power Line, Mar 18, 2020
Coronavirus: Is It Even Possible To Contain COVID-19?
By Alex Berezow, ACSH, Mar 17, 2020
Hopeful: Summary of Wuhan #Coronavirus Therapies and Potential Cures
By Rud Istvan, WUWT, Mar 20, 2020
Other Scientific News
Emissions of several ozone-depleting chemicals are larger than expected
Recovering and safely destroying the sources of these chemicals could speed ozone recovery and reduce climate change
Press Release, MIT, Mar 17, 2020 [H/t WUWT]
Spring 2020: The Earliest Spring in Over 100 Years
By Bob Berman, The Old Farmer’s Almanac, Feb 28, 2020
First Day of Spring 2020: The Spring Equinox
By Catherine Boeckmann, The Old Farmer’s Almanac, Mar 19, 2020
On Coronavirus, Beware the Totalitarian Temptation
By Josef Joffe, The American Interest, Mar 17, 2020
Polar bears prowling Newfoundland come on top of coronavirus fears
By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Mar 19, 2020
The Great Dread: Cultural and Psychological Impacts and Responses to the ‘Russian’ Influenza in the United Kingdom, 1889–1893
Mark Honigsbaum, Social History of Medicine, August 2010
BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:
There’s an unlikely beneficiary of coronavirus: The planet
By Rebecca Wright, CNN, Mar 17, 2020
How Coronavirus Could Set Back the Fight Against Climate Change
By Justin Worland, Time, Mar 10, 2020 [H/t GWPF]
GreenBiz: “climate change could make the coronavirus seem like the good old days”
By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Mar 17, 2020
German Public Television Satire: Corona Virus Is Good “Because It’s Ravaging The Elderly”
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Mar 15, 2020
Albert Camus’s ‘The Plague’ is a picture of life—and hope—in a time of pestilence and quarantine.
By Jeffrey Meyers, WSJ, Mar 20, 2020
TWTW Summary: Given the Coronavirus or Covid-19 and the UN’s unsupported claim of a “climate crisis”, it is useful to review a threat to humanity as written by extensional writer Albert Camus in his classic novel with complex characters, riveting plot, emotional intensity and exalted themes. In his review, the fellow of the Royal Society of Literature writes:
“The world-wide Spanish influenza epidemic that began in 1918 killed about 50 million people, more than all the combined deaths in World War I. The current coronavirus epidemic is just as frightening. Official reports convey unpreparedness rather than reassurance. No one knows how long it will last or how much damage it will cause. The disease incites panic in the streets and in the shops, and infects us with fear and insecurity.
After a brief overview of Camus, the reviewer states:
“Camus’s uninspiring setting, Oran on the coast of North Africa, is ugly: baking in summer, muddy in winter; treeless, glamorless, soulless. Its citizens are smug, placid and bored. Their passions are short-lived, their vices banal. They cultivate mechanical habits to get through life and have no interest in anything but money and pleasure. They don’t think about morality, religion or death. The plague begins suddenly with the swarming appearance of festering rats, who carry their infectious bacilli to man and die in the streets. Camus observes, ‘It was as if the earth on which our houses stood were being purged of its secreted humors; thrusting up to the surface the abscesses that had been forming in its entrails.’ Like our virus, the infection is an evil visitation that seems to come from nowhere and puts everyone at risk.
“‘The Plague’ is a vivid allegory of the then-recent Nazi occupation of wartime France. The mass burials and crematoria recall the concentration and extermination camps; there’s an organized Resistance to the plague and the invading bubonic rats finally retreat. But the novel is also a grim account of the threatening contagion. It shows how desperate citizens fight the disease that ravages the city, how they respond to the quarantine and lack of a cure during the overwhelming disaster.
“Extending his focus, Camus describes an entire town in the grip of disease and emphasizes the separation of the survivors, not the suffering of the sick. He writes with detachment and scrupulous veracity in a clinical yet lyrical manner. The authorities cannot explain, control or eliminate the plague. They are not prepared for its arrival, unwilling to recognize its existence and unrealistic about its effects. Oran suffers dire consequences: cuts in electricity, rationing of food and gas, severe shortages and restricted traffic; the sudden appearance of a black market, smuggling, looting, curfews, press censorship, police surveillance and martial law.
“The characters express various attitudes about the plague and comment on the human condition. The doctor Rieux, the criminal Cottard and the clerk Grand are aware that the plague implies evil in mankind; the journalist Rambert, the magistrate Othon and the priest Paneloux develop their understanding as the plague proceeds. Trying to reconcile belief in God’s goodness with the evil in their midst, Paneloux delivers two sermons. In the first he justifies God’s punishment and declares, ‘This same pestilence which is slaying you, works for your good and points your path.’ In the second he changes his argument. He now asks if the promise of ‘eternal happiness can compensate for a single moment of human suffering’ yet challenges his congregation by asserting there is no room for doubt: ‘We must believe everything or deny everything. And who among you, I ask, would dare to deny everything?’
“‘The Plague’ portrays people’s sense of unreality and lack of readiness; their denial and despair, suffering and isolation, selfishness and sacrifice, indifference and affirmation, hatred and sympathy; the power of love and the will to prevail in philosophically absurd conditions. The selfless hero Dr. Rieux, who fights the plague and narrates the book, is outraged by the anguish of the victims and expresses the transcendent theme of love. He believes in the collective destiny of human beings and promises a better life after the plague disappears.
“Like his hero, Camus gives us hope. He believes that the deadly crisis will encourage solidarity and bring out the best qualities in people, that endurance and courage will prevail. Camus writes, ‘No longer were there individual destinies; only a collective destiny, made of plague’ and the emotions of exile and deprivation, fear and revolt. The chastened people return to normal life with a clearer vision and deeper understanding of the precarious nature of human existence. He concludes, ‘what we learn in time of pestilence is that there are more things to admire in men than to despise. . . . By refusing to bow down to pestilence, they strive their utmost to be healers.’”